We don’t need to tell you the obvious: You know how important a social media presence is to grow your business.
You know not to post too much promotional content, to plan ahead, and to keep your channels active and consistent. You know what to avoid.
But what do you do when you’re following all the right steps and still hit a plateau in your growth?
A social media plateau occurs when whatever you’re doing is stale. If you’ve been following the same social media marketing strategy for an extended period of time then eventually you will stop seeing follower growth, or rising engagement levels.
How to grow your business with social media
You see, the real secret of consistent social media growth is all about having an overall plan. Learning and improving go hand in hand with tracking and reflecting so it’s important to…
1) Have a clear and goal-orientated plan for your social media content
2) Find your most engaged audience
3) Keep tabs on your performance every step of the way
1) Growing your business on social media with specific goals
Setting specific social media goals is a crucial first step for growth. Clearly define what you’re looking to achieve; whether it’s a rise in engagement, more followers, or even just increased reach, and then set out a plan on how to accomplish these goals.
Setting targets (realistic ones) will drive your social media efforts forward and give you the motivation to keep working towards your ultimate end-goal.
We’d recommend mapping out your targets for the next 3-6 months. Every month, revisit your goals and see how you performed against the targets you laid out for yourself. If you can stick to the KPI’s you’ve created then you’ll be able to keep growth consistent, and your efforts focused.
Furthermore, allowing for steady progress will break your end-goal into more achievable bite-size chunks. This will make you more likely to stick to your growth-plan and see it through to the end.
2) Find your audience
Social media is a powerful tool for raising brand awareness. You’ll be interacting with existing customers (creating brand loyalty), but you’ll also be trying to pique the interest of potential new customers.
We recommend developing an ideal customer persona. This will allow you to fully understand your perfect customer and exactly who you’re trying to reach.
Once identified, you can then work on creating content that will really strike a chord. It’s one thing to bring attention to your social media channels, but it’s all for nothing unless it’s coming from the right people.
Only once your ideal customer persona is in place can you begin to further tailor your content to your audience, and work out what you need to change to draw even more engagement.
3) Grow your business by looking at performance every step of the way
Introducing fresh new ideas into your social media strategy is the way forward, but if you’re not planning your content or checking your results then you’re likely to miss opportunities to double down on what works well.
So here’s our golden rule…
If a new content theme is introduced and performs better than the average post, you should be developing this theme in the future or increase the frequency of this type of content.
On the other hand, if content doesn’t seem to resonate with your audience, think about how you can improve this theme or whether you should scrap it altogether. Check in on results, learn, and then optimize accordingly.
Reach your social media goals with ContentCal…
The importance of planning your content in advance is also directly related to quality. Social media is not something to be ‘done on the fly’ although the odd bit of ad hoc content around various trends can be great here and there.
For the bulk of your content you need to be carefully crafting ahead of schedule, ready to be published later on in the week or month. Content that is created on the spot can often be rushed, ill-considered, and unlikely to have as much impact as a pre-crafted post could have.
That’s why it’s important to look back & see what’s working best for you, based on what you’ve already posted.
Social media analytics tools can tell you how much your engagement levels have increased across all social channels, the best times for posting, your audience growth, your best-performing content and more.
Here are a few ideas to give your social media presence a boost
Just because you’re representing a brand doesn’t mean that you can’t show your human side. People don’t like it when you hide behind your brand. They want to see faces, know who they’re talking to, and get a feel for the personalities behind your company.
It’s so much easier for people to connect to other people than for someone to connect to a faceless business. Making your brand a little more human will make you appear more trustworthy and approachable, and increase customer loyalty when building a social business.
- Sign off your social media replies with your name. “Thanks for getting in touch Joshua, we’ll keep you updated – Meg”
- Use ‘I’ instead of ‘we’
- Post pictures of the team in the office doing fun activities to show off the company culture
- Create Instagram stories about specific members of your team
- Utilise the LinkedIn account of your CEO as opposed to the company page
Put more effort into customer service
Did you know that people are 30% more likely to recommend a brand if they receive a response to a query on social media? Great customer service can go such a long way to building a closer relationship with potential and existing customers. Put in the effort and you’ll see growth both online and offline.
- Monitor your social media platforms closely – aim to respond to all queries within 30 minutes or less
- Form a rapport – aka – don’t talk like a robot (unless that’s actually your brand’s tone of voice)
- Respond quickly, even if it’s just to say that you’ve acknowledged their message and will find them the answer
Get to know your followers even better
There should be no limit to how far you research your audience. You should be able to answer every question under the sun when it comes to your followers.
What content do they like? What’s their sense of humor? Are they looking for informative content? Which types of content do they enjoy; videos, gifs, polls, etc.? Who else does your audience follow and why?
- Don’t just check on your analytics but really make an effort to understand them; find the patterns
- Don’t just test how people react to your brand, but see how they react to other brands too – what kind of content do they regularly retweet?
Point the finger (at your social media)
When you’re trying to run a business, your priority will always be your customers; finding new ones, and maintaining existing ones.
But when you’re oh so busy sending the people you chat to online over to your website, remember that it’s also beneficial to flip this and direct website visitors to your social media accounts.
You might have a potential customer who is ‘umming’ and ‘ahhing’ a little as they browse your website. If they head to your Twitter page and have a scroll, they’ll get a much deeper understanding of what your brand is all about.
They can also get in touch with you easily through social media (a space where most people feel pretty comfortable doing so) and if they do give you a follow they’ll be more likely to be loyal to your brand in the future.
- Add social media icons to your website
- Encourage people to chat with you over social media at any opportunity (at the end of a blog for example)
- Have your most recent Tweets appear on your website
- Send people to your other social media accounts from social media accounts (e.g. plug your Instagram page on Twitter)
Sweat the small stuff
Tesco had the right idea when they said ‘every little helps’. Every minuscule detail about how you handle your social media presence could contribute to whether somebody decides to follow you, purchase from your company, or unfollow you.
- Check on your channels regularly – have a read through your pages and make sure there are no typos, that all content is displaying correctly, and that all the links work
- Make an effort – if somebody leaves a comment; reply. If somebody shares your post; thank them
- Set up Twitter lists to make sure you’re regularly engaging with key accounts
Do you have any tips for taking your social channels to the next level? Let us know over on Twitter at @ContentCal_io